March 25-31, 2019: Poetry from Lin Nelson Benedek and Douglas Richardson

Lin Nelson Benedek and Douglas Richardson

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Lin Nelson Benedek

Bio (auto)

Lin Nelson Benedek earned her M.F.A. in Writing at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. She has had poems published in a number of journals and in five anthologies. Her first full-length poetry collection, I Was Going to Be a Cowgirl, was published by Kelsay Books in 2017. Her second poetry collection, When a Peacock Speaks to You in a Dream, was released in 2018 by the same publisher. Visit Lin on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2019, and owned by Lin Nelson Benedek and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Summer My Parents Got Divorced

Every morning, Dad picks me up at Mom’s and drives me to the plant.
We don’t talk.

The machine shop smells of oil spills.
Metal shavings stick in my sandals.

Ida May and Mae Belle type invoices for
White Engine Company and Caterpillar and Mack on company letterhead:
Power Plus Corporation.
I don’t want to be them. I pretend to be one of the guys.

Out back, I assemble manuals. How to Prevent Dipstick Disasters,
to the whoosh of compressors and hydraulic equipment.

Machinists (Juan, Ricardo, Manuel) pour
molten aluminum—crackling, liquid silver—into molds. I have a crush
on Ricky, the cute one.

I tell my mother the plot of Camelot. I saw it
with my boyfriend at the drive-in.

When I get to the part where Guinevere tells Arthur Live! Live!
we both weep. We hate goodbyes.
Lately there have been too many.

I am sleeping with my boyfriend.
She must know it.

My grandmother teaches me to sew.
I make a badass backless wrap dress
to wear with combat boots and a short battle jacket.

I put it on for the first time to go to the Free Press Bookstore
in Old Town.

I’m working not for wages but to pay for the former VP’s company car:
A ’65 baby blue Mustang convertible. Mom went on two dates with him
after the divorce, but she’s nowhere near ready for this.

The foreman’s son goes to Dartmouth. He doesn’t think much of me—the boss’s daughter.
Which literary figure do you identify with the most? he asks.

Anna Karenina, I say. I can tell already that romanticism will be
the death of me.


Douglas Richardson

Bio (auto)

Douglas Richardson lives in Santa Ana with his wife, Jen, and cat, Wes. His most recent collection of poetry is The Wild Roses Run.

The following work is Copyright © 2019, and owned by Douglas Richardson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Giant Rollercoaster

We rode the giant rollercoaster
across the Nevada state line

three months later
Jerry Garcia would die

the couple in the front car
aren’t together anymore—that was 1995

not even my omniscient blue t-shirt

In the Laundromat

In the laundromat
there’s a light
that never goes out

where women bring books
recommended by friends
and leave them behind
on benches

where the present
is a headache
and pills that don’t work

where trash cans
are in need of emptying
and floors in need of sweeping

where no art hangs
on the walls
and soap boxes
contain no religion

where the dress
left in the sink
was worn on a date

where there can be
no secrets

In the desert
bleached bones
get to shine in the night

in the laundromat
the light never goes out


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